Risk is the most common topic that comes up in our conversations with entrepreneurs and so each week we ask entrepreneurs to talk to us on the record about how they think about risk.

Emma Rosenthal | Lash Artist/ Esthetician

Risk taking is what got me started with Free Spirit Lash. But let me give a little back story to when I was younger before I was even in this industry (so about 18 years old). I was always in my comfortable little bubble of ‘getting by’ or ‘playing it safe on the sidelines’ while everyone else I knew was going to college, getting good jobs, etc… I never did the “normal” route after high school. I went to community college not knowing what the heck I was doing for about a year. I just knew it wasn’t for me. While working retail at my local shopping mall and going to school part time I just felt completely LOST. I wasn’t happy. One day while walking into work I saw that there was new business that opened up in the mall and it was a ‘Lash Salon & Boutique’. I was intrigued. What girl doesn’t love a beauty service and clothing? The owner of that salon a few days later ironically came into the store I worked at and we started to chat about lash extensions. Read more>>

Jacquelynn Houston | Student Pilot

I used to view risk as jumping off of a cliff (and I’m kinda scared of cliffs). So, I saw it as diving head first into something so unknown with a high chance of an ugly outcome. Now I see risks as something exciting. Jumping into the unknown is bound to bring you to a place you have never been, which is a thrill within itself. My view on risk taking has changed because I decided to start taking them. Reflecting back on every risk I have taken, no matter how big or small, it has brought me something greater. I have realized that if I forever just stay where I feel comfortable without ever taking a risk, I will never better myself. I cannot grow as a person to my highest potential if I just sit around and wait for opportunities to come for me. I view risk taking as an investment. With anything there is always a chance of failure. But without taking a risk it will always be a failure in my mind because you will live with the “what if.” Read more>>

Cassandra Cooper | Founder & COO Ova Media Group

Risk is reward misspelled. You certainly have to develop that muscle to step out on faith with no guarantee of the desired outcome. But when I think of the other option of someone outside of me, determine my life path , well that simply unfathomable to me. Risk has cost me a lot over my life time. However I would not have the life I do without my willingness to leap without looking. Read more>>

Mary Gutierrez | Brand Strategist & Director of Intrinsic Maven Graphics | Creator of Support South Bay Initiative

Risk taking to me is that step someone is willing to take despite the uncertainty of achieving their goal. There’s a certain strength you need when you’re willing to take that leap of faith. An inner voice that helps motivate you and keeps the positive energy flowing. While risk taking can be labeled dangerous or unstable, the beauty to me, is that no matter what the outcome, it’s an opportunity for growth and learning. Growing up, I usually liked to keep my decisions safe and stick to what felt comfortable and secure. But over the years and experiencing a lot of changes I began to understand how important it is to step outside of your comfort zone. Leaving my 9-5 job, to build my brand strategy and design business felt like a huge risk on my part, a scary one at that. With family responsibilities, leaving a Federal job just seemed like a wild move. Read more>>

Mike Holmes | Vocalist & Recording Artist

Everything in life is a risk to some degree. Spending your time on certain things means you wont have time for others, and deciding what you want to pursue may require you to sacrifice other opportunities. As long as you have a mindset that lets you grow and learn from the decisions you make you can navigate risks you take with confidence. As far as what risks are involved in being a musician, for me its been an investment in myself. Everything from equipment to the time I spend away from my “day job” could be considered a risk, however being able to create and express myself freely is worth it to me. Read more>>

Jadah Walters | Model & Actress

I risk my life everyday to reach my goal of becoming a full time model and actress. Virtual auditions are happening more often due to COVID-19 but there are still opportunities I’d like to take on in LA. All of the information on meeting details are clear regarding COVID-19 safety testing. I also need to continue building my portfolio so it’s necessary for me to set up photoshoots as well as shooting with small or local brands. I get tested frequently because I know I could be exposed at any given event which is definitely hard to manage but I’m willing to do what it takes to succeed safely. Read more>>

Kloey Battista | Co-Founder & Co-CEO of GirlNow Foundation

I believe calculated risk-taking can cultivate exciting opportunities for growth and emphasize the beauty of failure and imperfection. It is healthy to seek discomfort and take calculated risks in order to challenge ourselves to grow both personally and professionally. The more we can integrate risk-taking into our daily life, the more comfortable we get with failure. Which is a good thing. Framing failure as an opportunity is an imperative part of risk-taking. I personally prioritize taking calculated risks on a daily basis. One way I do so is by challenging the status quo and asking the simple question “why?” Don’t take everything for face value. Dig deeper and question. This is the foundation of risk-taking and impactful change. Progression truly stems from imperfection and failure. For me, founding GirlNow Foundation represents a high risk and high impact global opportunity. Read more>>

Billy NoJokes | Artist & Producer & Audio Engineer

In my opinion I think taking risk is where you can get the biggest reward ….,just like how that old saying goes! Playing things conservative def has its place in the race, but actually taking a leap of faith every now and again can really help gain some traction! My 2018 release I named “Comfortably Uncomfortable” for this exact reason. I Myself as an artist, am pretty comfortable just making music in my studio and I’m not too excited about doing live performances.. In all actuality it kind of a stresses me out .. or should i say stressed me out? When i chose the name “Comfortably Uncomfortable” for my album that year, I wanted to live up to that name. I wanted to get comfortable in the situations that made me uncomfortable. I wanted to take all the risk and become a better performer, so I took every and any show I can get! To be honest it turned out to be a GREAT IDEA! Not only did I get much better at performing, but I also think it solidified my presence amongst the community of musicians in my genre. Read more>>

Tanner Schmidt | Garment Dye Artist

Risk is something that drives me to exist everyday! Everytime I’m worried about something going on in life, I try to think “well what’s the worst that can happen” and “how will I ever learn if I never make mistakes.” It’s really just a natural part of my motivation and journey to take risks everyday! Get outside my comfort zone, enter the void, and go with the flow. It’s how we learn and grow as people and get that much closer to our long term goals. Read more>>

Claire Wick | LCSW & Owner of Spot to Talk

Risk, defined as a situation involving exposure to danger, plays a major role in our growth as individuals. Risk has played a major role in my life both personally and professionally, and often comes up as a challenge that my clients face on a daily basis. As the Owner of Spot to Talk, a group that provides therapy to individuals and families, I often encourage my clients to think about the decisions they are faced with making and whether or not the risks outweigh the benefits of their decision. When determining whether or not taking the risk is worth it, I personally reflect on what could be the worst possible outcome of the decision and if that were to come true (no matter how small of a possibility) whether that risk would be worth it. For example, I personally love to Scuba Dive. It is what I plan my travels around, what I spend most of my time away from work pursuing, but it is a passion that comes with a lot of risk. Even though the chances of getting attacked by a shark. Read more>>

Vikita Poindexter, SPHR-CA, SHRM-SCP, SHRM-CP | Certified Human Resources Expert

I’m a risk taker by nature. You have to take a risk to start a business. I walked away from my corporate job to start my business which wasn’t easy but so worth it. I continue to take risk daily as I branch out into other areas of interest. I have not always had the knowledge or the experience, but if given the opportunity I will obtain it. Read more>>

Hiral Patel | Social Entrepreneur, Published Author, Patient Advocate

Risk is vital for growth. I view risk as a catalyst for growth because it requires a person to extend themselves mentally, physically, and emotionally beyond confinements set for themselves. These confinements are created from an accumulation of experiences and influences that we have gained since birth. What is important to distinguish when considering risk is if it is potentially going to harm you physically or mentally or if it is something that, when considered, is coming from a place of fear. I had learned that when I was a child, I took risks. These risks included riding a bike with no helmet on, jumping off the sofa, and sliding down a staircase. It was only when my family, friends, teachers, coaches, strangers began to tell me or advise me of what I should not do is when I recognized that I was more hesitant to take risks. I am sure they have valid reasons for saying such, but what I have learned in my later years is that their reasoning was based on their life experiences. Read more>>

Lauren Messing | Makeup Artist & Managing Editor

Risk taking is something that I’m a fan of. If you don’t take risks then you miss out on fantastic opportunities. Directly after becoming a Certified Professional Makeup Artist, I started out doing trade for print to build my portfolio and skillset. After a year of doing so I realized that I had a solid portfolio and I was much more confident in my skill. The shift in my career came when I believed that I was worth more than working for free. It was the belief in myself and the fact that I told fear to go take a hike is when things shifted for the better. Turning down free work for my portfolio after a year was painful but it was necessary. My growth as an artist and my desire to move forward in my career was paramount. Shortly after I was getting paid gigs and I haven’t looked back since. I was approached by one of my best friends Denise Luse, who is a Professional Photographer, about starting a visual art magazine. Read more>>

Patrick Szydlik | Entrepreneur

I am a firm believer in “Risk is the price you pay for Opportunity”. The bigger the opportunity the more risk you’ll have to take. In this context to me risk doesn’t mean exposure to danger, but exposure to loss in these situations. The Potential loss of capital, time, resources…etc The question then becomes is that exposure to loss something you’re willing to take on to achieve your goals, to take advantage of the opportunity? In the chapters of my life it has been an overwhelming yes, a must do instead of a choice. In 2017 I was faced with getting a job and a new place to live or spending my last $500 on a business and being homeless. I spent 3 months living outside building a media company from scratch with my business partner Gabe. I had no phone, no bank account, no computer, Just a 360 camera and hustle. I carried a super upbeat happy attitude and sold our way into have a successful business. I believe risk and assessing risk is a daily calculation of an entrepreneur. Read more>>

Nikka Blunt | DirtFood Owner & Product Curator

To most people, risk means ‘danger’, and that makes sense since that’s the truest definition. I made a decision at 18 to bungee jump in Australia, and then a few years later to go skydiving and paragliding. Let me preface this with an important fact… I was afraid of heights, excruciatingly and embarrassingly afraid, so there was an inflated sense of risk for me. With my heart monitor watch on, I captured a 166bpm dauntless high during my first fall. I discovered that not only did I survive, but I was able to see the world from a much different vantage point as I soared, floated and gently bounced back to the earth. These moments were recalled when I made my first decision to create and invest in my own business. The biggest risk in stepping out of an airplane was death. The reward was living fully and eliminating a fear that dominated me. When I face a decision that accompanies risk, I go through the same process of risk/reward + decision + leap. Read more>>

Amanda Sanmartin | Celebrity Photographer/Red Carpet Manager

My whole career has been a risk. I started my business at a very difficult time both personal and as we were going through one of the worst recessions in US history. Every opportunity has been because I took risks and it has gotten me to where I am today. I believe that if you don’t take risks you don’t leave room to grow. You can’t succeed if you don’t fail either. I knew this coming in but I was determined to succeed. What has kept me standing has been to stay positive and be grateful every single day. Read more>>

Amy Leinbach | Inventor & Entrepreneur

When it comes to my inventions and my business, I’m very comfortable taking risks. It’s something I do on a daily basis. When I spend months working on a prototype, I risk potentially losing that time if the prototype doesn’t pan out. When I file a patent application, I risk losing that money if the patent doesn’t issue. When I put a product on the market, I risk embarrassment if the product doesn’t sell. The way I see it, the only way to avoid these risks is to take no action. To let my ideas remain ideas, and not allow them to (potentially) become products. But where’s the fun in that? The key for me is to learn as I go, and continually work to minimize risks when and where I can. Read more>>

Tyler Gaston | Music Producer/Engineer & Owner of The Gas Station Studios

I strongly believe that success doesn’t happen without taking a risk in some way and as cliche as the saying is, “big risks equals big rewards”. Before I completely dove into producing music wholeheartedly I was an exceptional athlete. I spent years dedicating my time towards a future in the NFL; every summer, winter, spring break was dedicated to getting bigger, stronger, and faster convincing myself that it was the necessary dedication to relieve myself from the financial hardships my family faced growing up. Thus, I often placed my passion for producing in the background. Though football grew distasteful, I went as far as the NFL draft and even rookie camp with the San Diego chargers before suddenly quitting it all for a career in music. I had no plan, I had no job, only a talent I had been suppressing for “the idea” of success and financial freedom. Now here I am today completely living off of music with no regrets except not trusting God and following my heart sooner, no matter how risky, ill-advised, or unassuring it may seem. Read more>>

Jacob Smith | Photographer, Videographer, Cinematographer

With every artistic and creative field there is going to be risk involved. Then factor in the hundreds of thousands of people that are trying to do the exact same thing as you, and it comes off as almost impossible. Trying to get into the professional, creative world is like standing outside an exclusive club with almost no way in, but what I’ve learned is that you never know until you take that first leap. Who knows, you could end up going into a coffee shop and meeting someone who knows someone, who knows another person and boom! You’re in. Risk taking for me has turned out to be a mix of wins and losses, like it does for everyone. Although, I’m not ashamed or regretful of these risks. Taking the chance to move to San Diego 4 years ago was one of the best things that has ever happened to me. Due to this gamble, I’ve grown exponentially as a person, and as a creative. Read more>>

Molly Zive | Licensed Clinical Social Worker & Podcast Host of Therapy Snacks

Before starting my own business, I was risk adverse. I want to connect my beliefs around risk to the way I was raised but I think it goes much deeper than that. I believe the way we think creates our reality. I used to be so scared of failing. I assumed the path of a steady job for a corporation with decent pay, a 401k and benefits. Up until 2020, I hardly took risks. I tried out different jobs but nothing really felt fulfilling until I took the biggest risk of all and worked for myself. I am committed to my own self development and when I was in therapy January 2020, my presenting “issue” was being unhappy in my work. Within minutes of meeting my therapist for an initial visit looked at me and asked, “Do you want to rent out the office next door?”I looked around and thought, “Is he talking to me?” Working with someone who was running their own business very successfully, empowered me to take the leap into the “unknown.” Read more>>

Heather Binns | Health & Fitness Strategist

Risk is invaluable! Since the moment of conception, risk is an inevitable part of life. This doesn’t mean the level of risk involved in any circumstance is either determined or gauged by us, but it does have an effect on every moment of our existence. Most people think of risk on a grander scale, versus the risk of every moment in our life. In that the grander scheme of things, I am a big risk taker! Part of the reason I am not afraid of taking big risks is because of the excitement it brings along with the uncertainty of the outcome. Especially if the reward outweighs the risk. Most often, the greater the risk, the greater the reward. I wouldn’t be where I am today if I hadn’t taken any major risks in life. Many of those risks were followed by success, while others led to a newly learned lesson…what others may call loss. Career-wise, for example, I have always been an entrepreneur by nature since I was a teenager getting paid to babysit, walk dogs, house sit. Read more>>

Imani Wade | Influencer & Author

I’ve always been a risk taker, yet for years I took impulsive and nearly stupid risks. This led me to making bad decisions, and overtime it was difficult for me to trust myself. Yet over the last 3 years of my life, I’ve been learning how to trust my gut, and I lean into my faith. I know that if something keeps popping up in my mind, then it is worth pursuing. I also have this fear of waking up one day thinking “what if I would’ve just done ___”. Read more>>

Yago Mann | Music Producer and Guitar Player

I think risk taking is essential for growth. But it can also be scary. Looking back to some of the happiest and most important moments of my life, I was definitely in front of a crossroad. And the best outcome always came after choosing the scariest option. The way I see it is: you can’t avoid messing some things up, so when the time comes, take that risk, make the decision and move on. If it was the wrong one, now you know better! Either way, you’ll grow and learn. But don’t just stand there without doing anything. Read more>>

Body Salt | Musical Duo

Ultimately not taking risks is the largest risk of all. Choosing to not challenge yourself and remain complacent cultivates the most regret at the end of a life. That being said, as musicians we have had to embrace so much risk. Projecting true venerability in the face of almost certain rejection, such as contacting hundreds of industry professionals while constantly hearing crickets, releasing music that at times falls on deaf ears, and playing to sometimes empty rooms can be very difficult. Also forgoing opportunities that provide more finacial stability is incredibly risky. In a society that places so much external value on men’s financial competency, pursuing a career that is almost laughed at as a real career pursuit in most circles is a huge social hurdle to overcome. However, Body Salt has been an exercise in embracing the growth and beautiful experiences that accompany risk and doing things that are difficult for one’s true belief in art and creation. Read more>>

Leah Keane | Folk Singer/Songwriter

I think risk taking is essential for success. Every time you put yourself out of your comfort zone you have the opportunity to grow. I adamantly believe though that if you can, take calculated risks. Give yourself the time to research, seek advice and devise a plan. I took my biggest risk in 2016: I was working for a Contracting Management Firm just a year out of college, enjoying the steady income and independence it gave me. On all accounts I was on the right track, yet I felt extraordinarily unfulfilled. I wanted to pursue music. I justified my seemingly reckless decision by saving up my money and becoming a substitute teacher (so that at least I could work if music didn’t pay the bills). I quit my job and spent the next year learning how to play guitar. I attended open mics and gradually overcame my nerves. I played for little to no money at Farmers Markets and eventually built up my reputation. Read more>>

D Benzo | Tattoo Artist & Generally Awkward

I believe taking risks is a major key in being successful and progressing in your goals. Regardless if the risks pay off or not there’s always something to be gained from the experience. I still tend to overthink and doubt myself but in the back of my mind I know ill never get anywhere playing it safe. Taking the risk to move here when I didnt have much, being out of my comfort zone, and traveling on a very tight budget are just a few things that have helped me grow mentally and also given me experiences that ill cherish forever. Read more>>

Gary Hawkins | Ex-Engineer and Author of ‘A Life Redesigned.’

My willingness to take risks depends on the circumstances. When there is nothing to lose, then taking a risk is a simple choice of ‘yes’ or ‘no’ based on whether I want to do this? If, however, failure carries a high penalty, risk must be carefully assessed. When you and your family decide to embark on, ‘A Life Redesigned,’ a failure to execute your plan has substantial risk, and thus, embarking on this course must be thought through carefully. That is, thoughtful consideration has been given to the probability of failure and the extent of the reward. Reducing the chance of failure to a minimum requires careful planning, and that is why my book, “A Life Redesigned’ examines all aspects of preparing for this type of lifestyle change. The most important items to organize if stepping away from the traditional American Dream are finances, medical coverage, and schooling. Of course, there are many more significant, but less critical areas to consider as well. Read more>>

Brittany Keeling | Founder of Be Elevated, a Launch and Business Operations Agency

I believe that taking calculated and intentional risks are essential to creating something great. When I think about those that I look up to, I see intentionality, innovation, and someone that has stepped so far outside of their comfort zone that they had no other option than to make it work. That’s the same approach I’ve taken in my business. Many decisions I’ve made haven’t exactly made sense on paper – but when you’re creating something that nobody else has done, you have to learn to trust yourself and your intuition around what the right risks and decisions are. It was a risk when I invested my last $5,000 into my business to get it off the ground in 2019. It was a risk when I decided to let go of ALL of my retainer clients just one year later, in order to restructure and rebuild everything my company was doing. It was a risk to hire my first full-time employee just 3 months after letting all of those retainer clients go. Read more>>

Beorht Lewinski | Actor & Model

I’m an individual who believes you can achieve and overcome anything you set your mind to, by any means necessary! Reward without risk.. ? said no one ever. it’s true you definitely can’t control everything but what you can control is your emotions, reactions and yourself. Taking Risks has played a big part of how I view my world. For example I know I’m not perfect for every single role I want but in my career as an actor and model I like to take a chance at every single opportunity that comes my way. CASTING INFO – Caucasian, 6’6 , piercing blue eyes, my stats say otherwise African American, 5’11, brown eyes. regardless of the details I still apply because I have something to prove I deserve to be in the conversation and around the table when the decisions are being made. I’m just as good as the rest, Am not in competition with anyone but myself I’m here to provide my talent and skill and do what I love. And that’s exactly what I’m going to do. Read more>>

James Bene | Owner of Bene Mudra Wellness & Singer/Songwriter

Its seems like my entire life has been a risk. I am no stranger to the feeling of having to jump in order to make my life happen the way I envision it to be. Choosing the life of an artist and an entrepreneur is risky business. It comes with zero guarantee! It seemed really good on paper when I was much younger and eager to give up everything to follow my dreams. As I got older I realized the amount of work it would take along with faith and determination to make it happen. As a singer/songwriter and a spiritual teacher I have learned that no matter what, you must put some sort of effort into your craft everyday without judgement or outside validation. Forget about motivation and inspiration….this comes and goes. You can’t wait until it feels right…you have to just do it. I spent a very long time wishing and hoping, trying to manifest my life in my mind instead of actively taking part in the process. Read more>>

Eloy Manalo Jr. | Photographer & Cinematographer

Everything in life is a risk. Pushing yourself creatively and emotional is a risk. Doing nothing is also a risk. It’s how you manage that risk and weighing out your options that can make you grow overtime. Read more>>

Erin Kluzak | Wedding and Event Florist

Starting your own business is exciting, but not without risk. The fear of the unknown is real: will you succeed, fail, or fall somewhere in between. Flowers by Erin was born in December of 2002 with the simple intention of arranging a friend’s wedding flowers and since then I had many years “in between.” I am not ashamed of this; and in fact, it has made me love what I do with even more passion—it is a part of who I am. The wedding industry is seasonal, my ability to manage finances in the beginning were sorrowfully lacking, markets crashed and many couples were unable to afford the wedding of their dreams. Even now, a year into COVID, the wedding and event industry, most industries, are at a virtual standstill. So many small business owners are struggling to stay in business with many more individuals foregoing their dream to start businesses of their own. Read more>>

Andrew Barrack | Content Creator & Musician

If you don’t take any risks, you can’t expect any rewards – it can be that simple. This philosophy applies to both our personal and professional lives separately and together. What I had to first learn in all of this is how important developing a belief in yourself is, which can also be a challenge at times, but something you have to take a risk the initial on. Once you realize how much you are capable of achieving, the concept of “risk” in other areas of your life won’t seem so intimidating. Once you develop this necessary self-confidence, you can create an unlimited opportunity for your future. Leaving a full-time job at a great company to start my own media company (Full Wave Creative) was no doubt a risk, but I realized one day how many opportunities were out there to chase. I had to take the risk of fully trusting in my skillset, my network, and myself. Since then, I’ve had the privilege of working in a wide range of industries with clients such as advertising agencies, craft beverage companies, athletic and apparel companies, restaurants, non-profit organizations, touring musicians, record labels, music venues, and more. Read more>>

Guzel Khosnullina | Freelance Photographer

I took the biggest risk when I moved to the United States by myself. I was 21 years old. Since then, risk has always been by my side, it became an essential part of my life. I had to learn a new language and a new culture from scratch, by myself. That said, going out of my comfort zone and embracing risk has also been the main driving force of my life and career. Moving to San Diego and starting my career as a photographer was one of the hardest, but very inspiring moments in my life. I decided to spend all my time learning photography and grow my creative social media channel. The main risk was that I had no stable income and no secured future – but I did it anyway. Read more>>

Malcolm Bohm | CEO

Recognizing the need to take a risk to realize the opportunity has been something I’ve always been comfortable with. If I don’t do this I won’t make it or I won’t achieve it or I won’t win it. Looking for the opportunity, assessing the risk and taking it is part of my makeup. It’s not that I’m cavalier or reckless, I always look at the risk reward balance but I won’t shy away from the unknown. Throughout my professional career this is true. I recall my first interview at my first pharmaceutical company – I truly had no idea what the job really entailed but I took the offer and jumped in head first. When I decided to leave the relative security and comfort of corporate America to start a new company I knew it was the right thing to do. I always describe it as jumping off the Titanic without a parachute. I was free falling to fatal crash or I’d make it back to the surface and swim. As my career has progressed through 3 of my own companies over approx 20 years I have gained more experience (some might say wisdom) and that gives you greater ability to assess the risk. Read more>>

Marisol Amezcua | Cake Artist

You will never know what you are capable of, if you DO NOT try. My whole career has been about risk taking. I mistakenly found my passion by entering a competition I knew nothing about! At the age of 14, I entered SkillsUSA thinking it was an after school activity. Weeks flew by when I was handed a stack of papers, of what is to be expected for this competition. I was panicked and confused. I followed through this competition, knowing I have zero experience. At this moment, I mistakenly found my passion for cake decorating. At the age of 15, I got my first job at a grocery store bakery, as a cake decorator. I gained confidence and experience for the future competitions, I already had in mind. My senior year, I made a promise to myself to place at State. I was so determined, I packed my suitcase with already made buttercream icing and bread dough. All of this to practice in my hotel room a day before competition. Read more>>

Valentine Svihalek | Abstract Painter & Educator

I’m all about jumping heart and head first, an approach that ensures I’m always learning and growing. I believe this is essential for a creative. Discovery, pushing the boundaries, necessitates our willingness to dive in to the unknown over and over again. If we are not sensing, observing, developing, evolving, unearthing, creating, sharing… what’s the point?. Read more>>

Jess Novello | Owner of Flora & Fauna Candle Co

You know that song by O.P.P, “Naughty By Nature?” Well, I think I’m “Nervous By Nature.” I’ve never been skilled at risk taking. I’ve unfortunately lived a lot of my life afraid and let that fear dictate what I will and won’t do. I started to realize in my 20’s that the only thing holding me back from living a richer, more vibrant life was myself. I started to force myself to put myself out there in a variety of different ways: education, relationships, opportunities, etc. Every risk I took didn’t always pan out the way I wanted it to, but every time I took a risk, I found myself feeling more confident and more resilient. Starting my own business was a huge risk, and one that kept me from moving forward with my ideas for quite a while. I’m so glad I finally took the risk of launching Flora & Fauna because it’s been such a great way for me to grow personally and I am also so passionate about what I create!. Read more>>

Allan Quijano | Footwear Designer

Risk. Risk played a huge part in my success/business today. The bad thing about risk is that you’re left thinking about what would happen if I did or didn’t take it. Going back to why It played a huge role in my life/career, I took a risk not going the traditional route. I knew I was meant to chase my passion and to show others that it’s okay not follow the same path as everyone else. Read more>>

Krista Marcheschi | Events and Marketing Director

Eleanor Roosevelt said “Do one thing every day that scares you.” I’m not a fan of quoting people, but I heard this a long time ago and it really resonated with me. Life is far too short to play it safe, especially if you want to leave a dent in this world. You must jump in, and only then, devise a plan around where you land! I realized that if I wanted something, I had to make it happen for myself, and with that taking risks has driven my life and career path to where I’ve landed today. To say I am an adrenaline junkie is somewhat of an understatement and outside of the traditional daily risks that many take, I (in align with most entrepreneurs) often choose the unconventional path for just about anything. I’m a firm believer in Bigger the Risk, Bigger the Reward but I don’t necessarily believe that the benefits are instant. The risks we take become steppingstones to the reward we seek over time. Read more>>

Carly Topazio | Artistic Director, Professional Dancer, & Multidisciplinary Artist

My life has been defined, in every way, by taking risks. From a very young age, I’ve always been drawn towards overcoming challenges, and confronting my fears. Proving myself, if you will. I’m not exactly sure why, but it might have something to do with being the only girl and the youngest of three, I always wanted to show that I could run with my brothers and excel the way I saw them succeed. I didn’t ever want to be told I couldn’t play on their team because I was too weak or not good enough. I’ll admit, some risky endeavors, like jumping off a ski lift as a child, might not have been the wisest of choices, but even just the practice of consistently taking risks, whether consciously or not, has made me more comfortable with feeling fear, living with it, and pushing forward regardless. For me now, risks, fear, trepidation, anxiety, or discomfort are synonymous with possibility, and opportunity. In a way, you could say that my entire career thus far in the dance world has been one giant risk. Read more>>

Stephanie Spence | Award-Winning Author, Yoga Scholar, Activist, Global Citizen, and Creative Leader

Risk taking has been extremely positive in my life. It’s important to define just what that is first. Risk behaviors fall along a spectrum: On one end of the spectrum are negative risks, which are generally antisocial or dangerous. Positive risk-taking is about learning new things and exploring unfamiliar territory. The risk is positive because, while it still evokes a feeling of uncertainty or fear, you develop a new skill or there’s a possibility of a positive outcome. Personally, I’ve learned the most in life from challenges (meeting and moving through them), pain (physical, emotional, and spiritual), and taking risks (in business and in my personal life). By far the greatest risk I have taken is learning how to use my voice – personally and in my writing. As a former CEO of my own magazine publishing business, I impacted many people by providing uplifting and inspiring editorial. The demands of my career and hiding behind a mask took eventually took it’s toll on me though and I crashed hard. Read more>>

Sergey Gornushkin | Sculptor

Risk is everything, it shaped me entirely! My father took a risk leaving the Soviet Union, now I am in the United States. I took a risk to go to Los Angeles after college without a good reason, now I am President of the San Diego Sculptors Guild. I took a risk to gift a sculpture to a mayor of Puertecitos in Baja, now I am CEO and Principal Artist of Pez Gallery and have installed 30 large-scale sculptures in Mexico with the latest 35 foot tower/mausoleum commemorating the founding father of Puertecitos since 1949! I took a risk having a wife for twelve years, now I have a beautiful son Fenix, who’s the center of my universe!…well, the last one wasn’t a risk, it was fate!) So, with that said, without risk…where would I be? Who would I be? Perhaps I would still be a decent human being, but taking risk definitely pushes you to new heights!. Read more>>

Fa-Harra F. Vision | Entrepreneur/Artist

Nearly everything I have is the result of taking risks. To start a business when practically no one believed in my vision was a big risk but, I now have a thriving business that’s growing every day. Another huge risk was moving to California and leaving the only home I’ve ever known. People thought it was crazy to move so far without really any support or immediate life lines. But, in doing so, I’ve connected with people I never dreamed I would meet and I’ve only scratched the surface. I believe there’s always a level of uncertainty when taking any kind of risk but for me, my greatest risks have led to my greatest rewards. Read more>>

Jaki Yermian | Interior Designer & CEO

When I look back on my career and personal life, the times I took a leap of faith have been the most rewarding. In the moment, I had no idea how it was going to pan out, but I always had a gut instinct telling me it was going to be ok. Following that my gut hasn’t lead me astray, yet!. Read more>>

Kayla Leday-Poole | Intuitive Tarot Therapist

I personally love taking risk. I think that is truly where the reward resides. I’ve been taking risk in major ways in my life since I graduated high school. Risk teach you life lessons. Risk are a 50/50 chance but that’s where faith comes into play. I’ve realized most don’t take risk because they are afraid of failure. I’ve gained the wisdom of know that there is no true failure in life. Just lessons that show you how to go about succeeding in a healthier way. What my brand is about and stands for is a risk. I’ve had to risk losing my family over what I do, because they are highly religious and are completely against spirituality. I realized I’m at more peace without them controlling my life choices and decisions. It’s brought me to an even closer place with God. Then, comes society and how it’s viewed. Many people believe because of tv and social media that spirituality and tarot are just connected to the devil. Read more>>

Justin Gregory | Real Estate Entrepreneur

If you’re not afraid to fail, what do do you risk losing? Any pursuit towards a desired outcome whether its in your person life or in your business requires some degree of risk. If you’re opposed to taking risks, being an entreprenuer isn’t for you. There’s various different forms of risk that people fixate over, the social risks of letting someone down, the financial risks of losing an investment, and even the political risks of publicizing your viewpoint are what many people weigh through when making heavy decisions. Unfortunately, the majority of people end up getting so fixated on the scenario they’re facing to the point where they never take action to begin with, we’ve all seen this in either ourselves or someone close to us. But what many people don’t put enough energy into is failure. Failure is often an untouched topic when it comes to personal and financial growth. Read more>>

Lydia Kulka | Interior Designer/Staging Expert

Risk has been a huge factor in the success of my business. When I was contemplating switching careers, from my six figure corporate job, I figured out what the least amount of money I would need to survive every month. The decision was hard, and quite frankly risky. I was giving up a good income, benefits, 401k, medical, vacation, all to start my own business that I wasn’t sure could make the same amount of money. But with big EDUCATED risks, come big rewards. I capitalize educated because you can’t just hope for the best, you have to work for it. When you look at what it is you want to do, is there a need for it? Is this something people will pay for or want? If the answers are yes, then taking a risk would be an educated one. If you are going in blind and don’t know those answers, then it would not be. Those risks can fail quickly. Read more>>

Rock Vitale | CEO of soEasie.com

I have always been conscious about minimizing risk in any business endeavor. I look for an “asymmetric risk profile” where the amount invested (time or money) is dramatically lower than the potential return on investment. Given the state of technology in 2021, it is not uncommon to invest a small amount and have a return on that investment that is significant. All that said, everything is always clear in hindsight, so do not beat yourself up if your plan does not work out or if you need to pivot. Read more>>

Carly Hodson | Crunch Fitness, LLC. Vice President, San Diego & Fresno

I took a huge risk several years ago, when I left another fitness company and accepted a position at Crunch Fitness. The potential for growth for my aspirations at the previous company were non existent. I’m a practical person, and I weighed my options but I also did a lot of self reflection. Prior to leaving the company, I wanted to make sure that I personally exhausted all of my resources to grow and develop. Essentially, I concluded that my values and beliefs had changed over the course of the 10 years as did the companies. I could stay there and be stagnant or leave. I chose to leave and restarted my career essentially from the ground up. I couldn’t be happier with my decision. In a little over 3 years, I progressed from Assistant General Manager, to General Manager, District Operations Manager, District Sales Manager, and now Vice President of our franchise California Clubs. Read more>>